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Pink Diamond Smashes Australian Auction Record And Heralds A Pink Dawn For A New Asset Class

July 15, 2021 Lifestyle News No Comments

An extremely rare 2.00 carat fancy purplish pink diamond acquired by the renowned Brisbane collector Di Fitzpatrick in 1988 from the Argyle diamond mine has been sold at a public tender conducted by Sydney based financial technology start up, The local buyer has asked for their identity to be withheld.

The Fitzpatrick Pink diamond was estimated to fetch between A$1.5million and 2.5million. This new Australian record of A$2.2million at an auction or public tender is double the previous record set at an auction in Sydney in just April this year.

A former employee of the mine where the diamond was discovered in around 1986, John Chapman of the DELTA Diamond Laboratory, claims that the Fitzpatrick Pink is one of the best round cut fancy coloured diamonds discovered by the Argyle diamond mine in its thirty eight year history.

The former veteran diamond polisher for the Argyle mine, Leo Smans recalls having polished the Fitzpatrick Pink from a piece of Argyle “rough” diamond before assessment and laser cutting technology had been introduced. “I took the diamond to Antwerp where special diamond impregnated discs were used to make a nice indentation of perfect symmetry,” Leo recalled.

Until its recent closure the Argyle diamond mine in West Australia conducted one or two private tenders a year offering the mine’s best production to an exclusive group of global diamond traders. Such tenders provided 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. This Global Public Tender is the first-time a group of pink Argyle diamonds have been offered to the general public on a secondary market.

The 37 fancy pink diamonds toured Sydney, Adelaide and Perth when they were viewed by collectors, investors and the local jewellery trade and the representatives of diamond merchants from Europe and North America.

The tender was conducted by Australian technology start up, including, the non-executive Chairman Jim Fernandez, the former Executive Vice President of Tiffany & Co in New York and co-non-executive director, Her Highness Sheikha Dheya a member of the Bahraini Royal Family.

CEO, Tim Goodman, a former Sotheby’s Australia Executive Chairman was responsible for this first public tender. “I have never seen a diamond like this 2.00 carat round before. We had trouble placing a pre-tender estimate on the stone because we have been unable to find a precedent. This record-breaking price is very exciting for the Australian diamond industry. It is exciting for our client Ms Fitzpatrick and of course it is exciting for us”, Goodman said.

The previous Australian record for a diamond and for any piece of jewellery was set at an auction in Sydney when a 25-carat emerald cut diamond fetched $1.125 million including buyer’s premium in April this year.

The Fitzpatrick Pink was one of 37 pink diamonds up for sale in the tender with a total estimate of A$11million. Diamonds were consigned by private collectors in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Most of the stones were acquired by their current owners around twenty years ago or longer.

Collectors will be pleased with their acquisitions as the owner of the Argyle mine, Rio Tinto, claims that the prices they have achieved at their private tenders have increased by a staggering 500% over the twenty years between 2000 and 2020.

There has been much discussion around Argyle pink diamonds as a new asset class for investment. Goodman believes that the debate is settled, “There is now a viable and liquid way to re-sell these rare gems for a relatively tiny seller’s transaction fee of 5% if you acquired your Argyle pink at one of our previous tenders. This development solves one of the old problems of lack of liquidity on the secondary market.”

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